Uneasy was the gathering of ill-matched Exiles as they convened in the depths of Center Park under the dubious cover of overcast skies on Friday night. All knew that it was only a matter of time before their concentrated numbers caused a noticeable ripple, alerting the Machine Agents to descend on them. The two groups mingled only grudgingly, like oil forced to share space with water. Still, something held these creatures in place, engaging in a low murmur of conversation that varied from excitement to barely suppressed bloodlust. At the center of the loose crowd was a tight nucleus of High Blood-drinkers and their Lupine counterparts, all facing outward toward their lesser brethren, as if to enforce obedience.
Finally a voice raised above the general babble, "How much longer?" A general cry of agreement followed the question, impatient frustration raised in one voice from many throats.
"Not much longer, surely." One High Blood-drinker nonchalantly adjusted the drape of his ornately patterned coat as he addressed the crowd. "They called us here for a reason, and we must wait patiently for our Lord Malphas and your Pack Leader Ookami to arrive and explain the next step in their grand plan. Remember, they too have had a busy day, but will assuredly wish to congratulate all of us on the fine work we have done."
There was another collective growl of anticipation. Tempers were running high after the day's work, in which they had tested the abilities of the "free" humans. They'd already cleared this entire end of the park of the local gang for the sheer fun of it, the bodies of many Chisels littering the ground like discarded toys.
One of Ookami's supporters picked up the thread of conversation, keeping the rabble's attention more or less focused, "The humans are eager to fight each other. It was child's play to dupe the Merovingian's lackeys into attacking the followers of Zion and the Machines!"
The dissonant chatter of self-satisfied responses almost drowned out the sound of tires screeching to a stop on the nearby service path. However, the squeal of tortured metal as car doors flung open, one twisting into uselessness with the casual application of supernatural strength, caused a massive ripple in the crowd as heads turned in confusion. A second, more focused ripple marked the progress of another High Lupine, parting the motley sea of Exiles to make room for the slighter form of an immaculately groomed female Blood-drinker following in his wake.
The crowd's anxiety grew to a fever pitch, clamoring for news as the new arrivals reached the inner circle and spent moments in quick conference. Then the most recently-arrived female leapt up onto a park bench, raising her pale arms for attention. Silence fell over the group. Tension was palpable in the air, electric and stifling.
"Our games with the humans today did not go unnoticed." Slowly allowing her hands to fall back to her sides, she looked around at the divided crowd with fiery eyes. "Not only have they noticed; they have retaliated. They have struck back at us in the most harmful way possible. They have cut out the very heart of our resistance! Malphas and Ookami are missing!"
Pandemonium erupted on all sides as Lupine and Blood-drinker alike united in ringing calls for blood and vengeance. The uproar grew increasingly ugly, until the male Lupine leapt up to the bench and waved his arms, roaring for silence. It took a moment, but obedience won out in the end and the noise began to die down enough for him to shout and be understood.
"They are not dead! We know even the Merovingian couldn't manage that. They are being held prisoner, but we don't know where." Raising one fist high overhead he thundered, "We will find them. We will recover them and we will make the humans regret this mistake!"
Voices raised in howls of furious agreement as the High Blood-drinkers and Lupines began to spread out, the horde breaking up into smaller groups bent on exacting retribution.
Posted by Live Events Team